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Alternative Group Reminds Us Why Welfare Is In A Mess

Media Release

Alternative Group Reminds Us Why Welfare Is In A Mess

Friday, December10, 2010

The demands made yesterday by the Alternative Welfare Working Group only serve to remind New Zealanders why welfare is in such a mess.

Welfare Commentator Lindsay Mitchell said, "The group is calling for basic benefit levels to rise by as much as 50 percent because they are too low to live on, yet most beneficiaries are receiving second or third tier assistance such as the accommodation supplement and family tax credits. Increasing basic rates will only encourage more people into the system. "

"Then they claim that there is no dependency 'crisis' because only 12 percent of the working age population relies on a benefit. Yet in the 30 to 40 years that followed the creation of social security the percentage actually declined and never exceeded 2 percent."

"Again they demand that the /In Work/ tax credit be paid to beneficiaries despite the Child Poverty Action Group having failed to secure this after taking their case to the Human Rights Tribunal which found the then Labour government had the right to discriminate in order to encourage work."

The demands from the Alternative Working Group serve only to remind us of the politics and sentiments that have made the welfare system the mess it is today. It de-motivates and traps people who are perfectly capable of being independent.


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